22 best places to travel alone in the US: the ultimate guide

A list of the best places to travel alone in the US, plus some work exchanges to help you have a more unique and affordable trip!


best places to travel alone

The United States of America is one of the world’s biggest countries. There is so much to see and do here, and each of the 50 states feels like its own special world. The US has a solid infrastructure, lots of excellent accommodations and work exchanges, and plenty of natural beauty to explore. But what are the best places to travel alone around here?

Solo travel in the United States on a budget

Whether you’re a US citizen looking to further explore your own country, or you’re an international traveler, the US is one of the best places to travel alone. The only hard thing about planning US solo travel is the sheer size of the country.

With a huge surface area that includes islands, mountain ranges, huge cities, small towns, and everything else in between, it can be hard to plan a solo trip to the US -there are simply too many places to visit.

To help you narrow down your list of options, we’ve compiled a list of where to travel solo in the US. These 22 destinations offer some of the best solo trips in the US, though of course there are many more that didn’t make the list.

You might also like to read:

Throughout this list, we’ll also mention a few Worldpackers work exchanges in various US locations where available. A work exchange is the best way to save money, meet locals, and have a unique travel experience while exploring the USA and many other parts of the world.

This type of trip means you'll work a few hours a week in exchange for free accommodation, and sometimes extra perks like meals, classes and tours. You'll also have the benefit of being hosted by a local, which will help you stay safe, informed, and immersed in the local culture. They will share their local knowledge with you and help you have the best possible experience traveling in the US. 

The US is normally not a cheap country to travel so your wallet will thank you for doing a work exchange!

best places to travel alone

22 best places to travel alone in the US

Where you decide to travel will depend on your preferences and your budget. Definitely do plenty of pre-trip research to help organize your solo travel adventure. But to help provide some ideas and inspiration for where to go, here are 22 of the best places to travel alone in the US!

1. New York City, New York

New York City is one of the world’s most iconic places. Tourists flock here from all over the world to roam Times Square, see the Statue of Liberty, relax in Central Park, and indulge in the nonstop nightlife and entertainment. We also believe this is one of the best places to travel alone in the whole world.

NYC is a great place for solo travel for many reasons. Public transport is plentiful, and there are shops, accommodations, attractions, restaurants, bars, museums, and bodegas on every corner. You will never run out of things to do here!

The downside is that accommodation in this popular destination tends to be quite expensive. But that shouldn't be a problem for you, since there are some great work exchange opportunities in NYC. 

If you’re looking to save money and escape the city for a bit, you can also try a work exchange just 1.5 hours away from NYC. Head into rural New York and volunteer at a holistic center in Cragsmoor. You can be a part of the support staff at a Buddhist center and help with cleaning and other various tasks in exchange for a free stay.

2. Asheville, North Carolina

Outdoorsy travelers looking for the best solo vacations in the USA should definitely consider Asheville, North Carolina. 

This cozy little city tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains is surrounded by rolling mountains, tumbling waterfalls, and dense forests. Asheville is home to an abundance of fun outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, mountain biking, rock climbing, river rafting, kayaking, and more.

There are also lots of fun things to do in Asheville within the city center! Go to a local pub and watch some live Bluegrass music, or head to one of the many breweries in town. Asheville has lots of unique museums, restaurants, rooftop bars, and cafes as well. 

Those who love architecture can check out the magnificent Biltmore Estate, or you can check out the markets and galleries in the River Arts District. Asheville is safe, easy to get around, and full of fun activities for solo travelers.

destinations for solo travel

3. Anchorage, Alaska

Another epic place to visit in the USA is Anchorage, Alaska. Known as “The Last Frontier”, Alaska is home to some of the most breathtaking and untouched wilderness in the US. 

For those looking to immerse themselves in nature and explore a more rugged side of the US, Alaska is the place to be. Anchorage in particular is one of the state’s best cities. It’s known for its abundance of art and music, as well as its nearby state parks, glaciers, and hiking trails.

For a unique experience near Anchorage, head 45 minutes out of the city to the town of Butte. You can volunteer at an organic farm in the Matanuska Valley! Help with farming and learn about the ins and outs of sustainable living. You’ll get free meals, a free stay, and lots of quality time with the Alaskan wilderness! 

4. New Orleans, Louisiana

If you’re wondering where to travel solo in the US and you want to visit somewhere lively, multicultural, and fun, New Orleans should be on your radar. This vibrant city in southern Louisiana is one of the US’s most artistic and exciting cities. Filled with music, art, food, architecture, festivals, history, and more, New Orleans supplies solo travelers with endless excitement.

The heart and soul of the city is the French Quarter. Head here to see public art displays, talented street musicians, and lots of ornate, historic architecture. New Orleans has a fascinating mix of cultures and this diversity is reflected in the music, art, and food. Indulge in some traditional Creole cuisine and be sure to visit a few jazz bars. 

If you love to party, Bourbon Street comes to life at night. You can also try to visit New Orleans for its annual Mardi Gras festival, just keep in mind the city will be extra packed and expensive at that time!

best places for solo travel

5. St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine, Florida is the USA’s oldest official city. If you’re looking for history and sunshine, this charming city on Florida’s east coast is a gem. 

Dating back to the 1500s, St. Augustine has numerous monuments to check out, including Castillo de San Marcos, the St. Augustine Lighthouse, Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth, and more. Also be sure to visit the museums, state parks, and beaches.

To experience a more local side of St. Augustine, consider volunteering in a guesthouse. You can live and work with a local, helping them lightly clean and organize their home. In exchange, you’ll get a free stay, as well as lots of local tips and knowledge about the area.

6. Austin, Texas

Another one of the best places for solo travel in the US is Austin, Texas. Sometimes called the “Live Music Capital Of The World”, this city is perfect for any type of traveler. Street music, performances in bars and restaurants, and music festivals are huge in Austin, and dancing is a popular pastime as well. 

South Congress neighborhood is great for finding food, drinks, and shops, and you can also find some incredible authentic Texas barbecue places around town.

Nature lovers can head over to Lady Bird Lake. Here you can kayak or paddleboard, or go for a jog along the surrounding trails. The city is also home to a few swimming holes, including the popular Barton Springs Pool. Austin, Texas is a super fun city to visit if you’re traveling alone!

austin, texas

7. San Diego, California

One of the most visited cities in the USA is San Diego. Located in sunny Southern California, San Diego offers a wealth of culture, nature, and entertainment for solo travelers. 

With world-class museums, thriving nightlife, pristine beaches, gorgeous hiking trails, and so much more, you’ll have a blast. Those looking to explore nature can add La Jolla Cove, Torrey Pines State Park, and Sunset Cliffs to their San Diego bucket list. If you’re more into eating, drinking, and sightseeing, try exploring the Gaslamp Quarter. 

Balboa Park is a national treasure as well. This massive green space has lots of incredible museums, art galleries, walking trails, landscaped gardens, and more. 

And don’t forget to spend some time on the beaches. Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach are two of the top areas for surfing, swimming, strolling, and people-watching.

San Diego has lots of top-rated hostels if you’re looking for a place to stay on a budget. To score free accommodation, you can even volunteer at a hostel. 

If you have any content creation or digital marketing skills, you can volunteer at this hostel and help them improve their online presence through videography, but there are also plenty of other work exchange opportunities in San Diego - Worldpackers was created there!

san diego

8. Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona offers another one of the best solo trips in the US. Surrounded by unique desert landscapes, national parks, and natural beauty, outdoorsy travelers will love to hike, road trip, and explore. 

Within the city itself, there is incredible food, affordable places to stay, fascinating gardens and museums, and more. Phoenix is safe and beautiful, so it’s enjoyable to visit as a solo traveler.

9. Hilo, Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands offer some of the most breathtaking scenery in the US. Hawaii is also very safe, making it one of the best places to travel alone as a female.

Though each Hawaiian Island offers something special and unique, The Big Island is a great place to start. Explore national parks, hike volcanoes, snorkel on the beaches, and road trip up the scenic, winding coastline.

For a unique experience near Hilo, head 10 miles north of town and volunteer at an eco-lodge. Stay in a glamping tent and help your hosts maintain their eco-friendly technologies and sustainable lifestyle. You’ll be living amongst lush rainforests and waterfalls, so be sure to appreciate every second of this unbelievable experience.

hawaii is great for solo travelers

10. Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

The ultimate historic destination in the US for solo travelers is Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Not many travelers come to West Virginia, but the state is actually filled with so much natural beauty and history. 

West Virginia is incredibly safe and the locals are friendly, so it’s another great place for solo travelers.

Harpers Ferry is known for its Historical Park, which has numerous buildings, churches, and landmarks from the Civil War Era. When you’re not meandering through the traditional town center, you can hit up a scenic lookout or hiking trail to admire the rivers, forests, and mountains of the area. The Appalachian Trail even passes through Harpers Ferry so you can hike a portion of that if you’re up for it!

11. Boston, Massachusetts

Another incredible spot that had to be on this list of best places to travel alone is the mighty city of Boston. As the capital of Massachusetts, Boston is a busy city that offers a bit more of a historical vibe than NYC. You can follow the Freedom Trail through the city and learn about the American Revolution, as this city played a vital role in the country’s independence.

Take a stroll through Boston Commons, check out the golden dome of the State House, or go shopping at Faneuil Hall. You could even go on a Duck Tour through the city and sail along the Charles River. Boston also has lots of fun bars and pubs in South Boston, or “Southie”, and there are many great places to eat in the North End.

Boston is one of the more expensive cities in the US, though, so you can save money by doing a work exchange. About an hour from the city, there is a historic estate in Whitinsville, MA. Help renovate and decorate this magnificent estate in exchange for a free stay and plenty of time off to explore Boston and the surrounding areas. 


12. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina is one of the US’s most scenic cities. Solo travelers flock here because it is fun, safe, and full of incredible sights. Fill up on delicious, hearty Southern cuisine as you wander through the historic, charming streets. Head to the beaches to soak in the Carolina sun, or hit up the local nightlife.

Photographers have to visit Rainbow Row, a famous street in this scenic city known for its rows of colorful buildings. You can also visit the historic Charleston City Market, Angel Oak Tree, and Joe Riley Waterfront Park for more top-notch photo opportunities.

13. Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado is another one of the best places to travel alone in the US. With a large community of young professionals, travelers, students, and outdoor enthusiasts, this city in the Rocky Mountains has a vibrant community and lots of fun things to do. 

If you want to explore the natural beauty of the Rockies, all you have to do is venture just outside the city’s borders and you can hike, bike, climb, and sightsee to your heart’s content.

In the city itself, there are plenty of museums, markets, historic landmarks, bars, restaurants, parks, and gardens to entertain any solo traveler. 

A great way to meet people while traveling alone is by volunteering in a hostel! Denver has a top-rated hostel that needs volunteers to work at the front desk. Being a receptionist here will help you fit into the local community and you’ll have a very social experience.

best places to travel alone

14. Newport, Rhode Island

Another beautiful place to travel alone is Newport. This coastal city in America’s smallest state has so much to offer. Whether you’re into history, architecture, beaches, seafood, or nightlife, Newport, Rhode Island has something for you.

Your first stop in Newport should be Thames Street, the heart of the historical center. Lined with adorable shops, cafes, and boutiques, you can window-shop here for hours. This cobblestone street is also home to a few green parks and historic buildings that only make the city more scenic. 

If you want to feel the salty ocean breeze on your face, take on the Cliff Walk or go surfing at Eastons Beach. Take a boat cruise through Narragansett Bay, drive along the historic Bellevue Avenue, or hit the town at night.

15. Savannah, Georgia

This charming Southern city is also one of the best places to travel alone in the US. With that warm, coastal breeze and its rich culture and history, Savannah, Georgia has so much to offer solo travelers. 

Savannah’s Historic District is a good place to start for sightseeing. Be sure to visit the photogenic Forsyth Park, City Market, and Wormsloe Historic Site. Local eateries, ice cream shops, vintage stores, lush green parks, and impressive churches can be found all over this lovely city, so spend a few days here and enjoy every minute!

savannah is one of the best places for solo travel in the us

16. Seattle, Washington

If you’re looking to travel alone in the magical Pacific Northwest, consider starting your journey in Seattle, Washington. With a trendy coffee scene, lots of live music, and an outdoorsy vibe, Seattle unites culture and nature. 

Explore Pike Place Market, visit the iconic Space Needle, or head outside the city and visit a nearby island, lake, mountain, or national park.

Get to know the local Seattle culture by participating in a homestay! Take care of the children and pets for this friendly local family that gets lots of great reviews. This is a great way to enjoy free accommodation and have a fun and relaxing local experience. 

17. Portland, Oregon

Another gem of the Pacific Northwest is Portland, Oregon. Surrounded by mountains, valleys, waterfalls, and more, Portland is a fun city that has lots of opportunities for exploring nature. You can escape the city by hiking Mount Hood, going skiing or snowboarding in the wintertime, or visiting the famous Multnomah Falls.

Within Portland itself, there is endless fun to be had. Visit the iconic food trucks and sample delicious homemade food from local vendors. Or visit a bookstore, stroll through a rose garden, visit a historic mansion, or check out a museum. 

Other photogenic highlights of the city include the Portland Japanese Garden, Washington Park, and the Lan Su Chinese Garden.

best places to travel alone

18. Dallas, Texas

Next on our list of best places to travel alone in the US is Dallas, one of the best cities in the mighty state of Texas. This is the third largest city in Texas, and despite its size, it consistently ranks high for safety and quality of life. 

Give your solo trip to Dallas a unique twist by trying a homestay! If you speak any other languages, this Dallas host is keen to learn from you. Enjoy free food and accommodation in exchange for language lessons and some help around the house, and explore Dallas on your days off.

19. Washington DC, Maryland

A list of the best US solo travel destinations wouldn’t be complete without adding the nation’s capital city! Washington DC is definitely a must-see in the USA. Not only is the capital city packed with significant museums and landmarks, it also has lots of fun places to eat, drink, and watch local entertainment.

Take a tour of the White House, see the Lincoln Memorial, or climb the Washington Monument. You should absolutely visit the Smithsonian Museums as well. Most are free to the public and there are some fascinating displays of history, science, and culture in these world-class museums. 

Visit the city during cherry blossom season to see the landscape come to life with beautiful pink flowers. 

washington DC

20. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Another cool place to travel alone in the US is Albuquerque, New Mexico. With a rustic Old Town full of Spanish colonial architecture, and a bustling downtown full of fun and entertainment, solo travelers will have a blast in this city. 

Try a unique work exchange in New Mexico by volunteering at a holistic hot springs center! Just 2 hours away from the city in rural New Mexico you can help with maintenance and building. Enjoy a free stay and watch these hot springs improve thanks to your efforts! 

21. Richmond, Virginia

Another pearl on our list of the best places to travel alone is Richmond, the capital city of Virginia. With an abundance of museums, historic sites, and gardens, Richmond is a beautiful city for sightseeing and exploring. 

Immerse yourself in the Virginia wilderness with this work exchange. Located in Monterey, about 2 hours away from Richmond, you can work on a farm in exchange for free accommodation. Help with gardening and foraging, and have the opportunity to live in a rustic cabin surrounded by nature.

22. Tampa, Florida

Last but not least, this sunny city in the Gulf of Mexico is a top US solo travel destination. Though Florida is home to many other more popular cities such as Miami and Orlando, Tampa has that intimate feel that is perfect for a solo traveler. 

The city center is easily walkable, especially thanks to the recent addition of the Riverwalk that spans the length of the downtown Hillsborough River. Soak in the sunshine, walk under the palm trees, and admire the beauty of Tampa.

Ybor City is a great place for nightlife in Tampa, as is the neighborhood of Soho. Hyde Park has an amazing local farmers market, and you can go for a lovely bike ride or walk down Bayshore Boulevard and see if you can spot some dolphins! Some of America’s best beaches are just a short drive away, including Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach.

tampa, florida

I hope you enjoyed this selection of the best places to travel alone in this awesome country. Check out our full list of work exchange and volunteer programs in the USA if you want to have a more immersive and affordable solo travel experience. Have fun!

Leave your comment here

Write here your questions and greetings to the author

More about this topic